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California’s Hahn Sees New Upscale Focus Pay Off

November 19, 2014

Soledad, California-based Hahn Family Wines, one of the Central Coast’s premier vintners, says it’s seeing growth pick up this year following a strategic decision to ramp up efforts on its premium-and-above portfolio. The company’s Hahn Winery tier ($14-$18) earned Impact “Hot Prospect” honors for a 2013 performance in which it grew 16% to 221,000 cases, representing a near-doubling in volume since 2010.

Company chairman Philip Hahn told SND progress is continuing for the Hahn Winery line this year. “Our three biggest sellers for Hahn Winery are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet. But our fastest grower right now is our GSM blend, which we created specifically for restaurants and higher-end bars and gastropubs. It’s been a big hit by-the-glass in the on-premise, priced around $10-$12.” Hahn Winery is expected to be at about 240,000 cases for 2014, and is advancing toward the company’s goal of 300,000 cases within the next few years.

Another focus brand for the winery is its luxury Hahn SLH range, sourced from its Santa Lucia Highlands estate vineyards and including Pinot Noir ($35) and Chardonnay ($25). In the six months through September—the first half of Hahn Family’s fiscal year—SLH, which was repackaged earlier this year, grew depletions 27%.

Hahn’s upscale Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon brand, Smith & Hook ($25), is also on the upswing. Sourced from Paso Robles, Arroyo Seco, San Antonio Valley and Hames Valley, Smith & Hook’s depletions are up 30% year-to-date. The current strong showings for Hahn SLH and Smith & Hook follow up on a previous fiscal year in which both brands doubled in size.

Altogether, Hahn’s luxury portfolio—which includes SLH, Smith & Hook and single-vineyard brand Lucienne ($50)—grew its share of the company’s production to 30% last fiscal from 16% a year earlier. Hahn added that the winery’s super-premium offerings are continuing to make gains on-premise, with SLH and Smith & Hook deriving about 60%-70% of sales on-premise, compared with about 50% for Hahn Winery.



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